Free guided meditation sites and apps have been some of the most valuable tools for supporting both my physical and mental health over the past decade.
In our increasingly fast faced world, many are understandably turning to the age-old practice of meditation to disconnect, slow down and regain some semblance of calm.
Perhaps paradoxically, a quick search for ‘free guided meditations’ churns up close to 7 million results at the time of writing. Decision fatigue is real, and knowing where to start and what style of meditation practice is right for you isn’t always the clearest in the beginning.
You’d no doubt find your way, but as I’ve experimented with a fair few over the years, I thought I’d whittle down some of my favourites.
In this article, you’ll find a selection of free guided meditation sites and apps, along with some free sample tracks where possible.
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A growing library of guided meditations, breathwork and somatic practices (plus access to all my movement & mobility programs).
I began using Insight Timer’s basic meditation timer during the pandemic when I as looking to strip things back to basics. You can set the length, any background music and chimes. It’s a simple, fuss-free way to practice.
During my recovery from chronic pain & long-covid, I took a deeper dive into their huge library of free guided meditations. I’ve particularly benefitted from the work of Tara Brach and Jack Cornfield, guided yoga nidra with Ally Boothroyd, and some of the Internal Family Systems content from Richard Schwartz.
You’ll also find mood tracking, sleep stories, meditation music, live yoga classes and more.
I’m now a teacher on Insight Timer, sharing some of the practices that have helped me the most over several years of exploring mindfulness, meditation, breathwork and other somatic practices.
Here’s a sample track if you’d like to take a look: Two Minute Pause: Breathe Into Safety
One Giant Mind teaches a simple mantra-based meditation style akin to that used in transcendental meditation. After many years of experimentation, it’s a style that I’ve found incredibly effective and easy to practise.
Calm is primarily a paid app, but they put together a free guided meditation resource guide with a selection of different styles to help you get started.
When using the paid version of the app, I got a lot out of Jeff Warren’s ‘Daily Trip’ meditations and the 30 day guide he put together. Jeff has his own YouTube channel and website with a library of practises that are definitely worth checking out.
Developed by Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe and his business partner Rich Pierson, Headspace was the first resources that helped me establish a more regular meditation habit.
If some of the more esoteric and spiritual language around meditation doesn’t really speak to you, Headspace does a good job of presenting the material in a more modern way, leaning more into the science and everyday application.
The ten day ‘Take Ten’ series is free to try out, and the paid app contains a whole host of meditation series and sleep stories.
Do Yoga With Me was my gateway into yoga as a teenager, with a range of follow along yoga videos (hip flexor heaven used to be my go-to).
Along with various yoga practices and stretching routines, you’ll also find a library of guided meditation tracks too with a wide range of styles for you to dive into.
Again, many different types of mindfulness meditation by various teachers. All tracks are free to download and distribute non-commercially.
One slight downfall is that it doesn’t seem to be possible to listen to the meditation tracks online – you have to download them. It just makes previewing the audio slightly more difficult, but it’s really not a big deal. It’s still a solid resource!
I interviewed Elizabeth Blaikie, founder of Fragrant Heart, several years ago on my old website, Health Room.
Elizabeth and her family have done an excellent job of collecting a wide range of meditation styles geared towards stress relief, healing, supporting self-esteem, and more.
Some tracks are as short as a minute, which is great for getting started, and there’s also a free guided meditation course you can explore.
Tara is a world renowned meditation teacher, and her site is a goldmine of mindfulness knowledge.
It contains a massive library of at least a hundred guided meditation tracks to keep you going, along with a selection of talks.
Tara’s RAIN technique is something I’ve found particularly useful in managing stress and becoming more in tune with hidden emotions and messages from the body.
One of the most popular meditation podcast on iTunes right now.
It’s not updated all that regularly, but there’s still plenty of episodes in the catalogue to work your way through.
Again, there’s a wide variety of meditation styles available.
I stumbled upon Dharma Seed after a comment from a reader a while back (thanks Gil).
It’s an incredible resource, with thousands of free guided meditation tracks and talks from teachers from all around the world. I’ve not delved too deep into the library yet, but from what I’ve heard so far, it’s a great site with a shedload of useful content.
Any free guided meditation sites you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments section below!
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